Crew Assessment And Writing Your SMS

Are you completing section 6 of your SMS and need to know how to determine your crewing with NSCV Part D / E.  Many vessel operators appear to struggle with crewing determination. Previously, this was done by the state maritime agency. This is a brave move by AMSA to allow vessel operators to determine their appropriate crew however; this is the system now in Australia.

Below is some guidance in determining the appropriate crew.

The core compliment (or minimum crew levels) are still set by AMSA. Appropriate Crew Complete a risk assessment to determine appropriate crew levels. This is to determine how many crew you require to carry out your normal vessel operations safely. You can do this using the Ocean Time Marine risk assessment sheet.

Consider the following to determine appropriate crew levels:

  • The specific nature of your vessel operations (Fishing, passenger charter, work boat, etc.)
  • Variations in passenger numbers Variations in passenger profile (elderly, children or passengers with special needs)
  • Vessel design and layout (Is the engine room a long way from the helm?)
  • On board systems or installations that enhance the vessels emergency response capability
  • Proximity of the vessels operating areas to emergency assistance Operating area (identify the hazards.)
  • Significant changes to the vessel or operating areas Capability to manage an emergency. (Person over board, steering failure etc.)
  • The experience, qualifications and competencies of crew

The Company and Designated Person are accountable for ensuring sufficient and appropriate crew numbers and draws on the knowledge and experience of the master and other key personnel to inform this determination. In some vessel operations the core compliment (minimum crew) can be considered appropriate crew to carry out normal operations.

Core Compliment – The core compliment for the vessels certified crew as determined by Schedule 2, Operation requirements, NSCV Part E. Vessels operating with crew members holding dual certification, must be within the guidelines set out by Schedule 2, Operation requirements, NSCV Part E and NSCV Part D. This core compliment may appear on the operation certificate as it did previously on the certificate of survey.

After a risk assessment is completed here is an example: Appropriate crew for passenger charter vessel when carrying out normal operations with total compliment of passengers on board on regular voyage. Total 5 (1 Master 5, 1 MED 2, 2 Deck Hands (GPH), 1 Galley Staff.) Core compliment, the minimum crew to operate the vessel (moving berths, no PAX, etc.) Total 2 (1 Master 5, 1 MED 2.)

Ocean Time Marine has developed a Safety Management System (SMS) Software / Template and various other tools to assist commercial vessel operators in writing a SMS.

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